For my study area, in western England I would like to effectively trace over certain fields to identify them as intense agricultural fields (such as bright green ones).

I know Google Earth and Google Maps forbid you to trace their maps so could I use Bing, OpenStreetMap, MapQuest layers that can be accessed by the OpenLayers plugin?

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  • If yours is a non-commercial project it's difficult to understand why it would be wrong to trace the polygons in GE and export them as a KML file for loading into QGIS. This is almost certainly the best way to trace GE data and GE provides the tools to do it. Why would Google provide the tools that allow you to do something, if doing it would breach their conditions? – nhopton Nov 12 '15 at 10:00
  • It does say in their terms of use not to trace their maps so it concerns me, although I am doing an academic, non-commercial project – Abigail Nov 12 '15 at 19:36

Imagery from lots of sources, including Google and OpenStreetMap, are available in QGIS through the OpenLayers plugin. There are some good guides on how to install the plugin. For example, http://maps.cga.harvard.edu/qgis/wkshop/basemap.php

Once you install OpenLayers, choose the Terms of Service/About option from the the Web->OpenLayers plugin menu (this might be in a different place depending on your version of QGIS). There should be a link to the terms of use for each provider.

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  • Yes I do know that, but is it acceptable for me to trace certain parts of the Bing aerial map? Which I have uploaded with the OpenLayers plugin – Abigail Nov 11 '15 at 18:52
  • Bing Yes (It's used for tracing elements in OpenStreetMaps), Google No. – Alexandre Neto Nov 11 '15 at 18:55
  • Apologies - missed that in your question. Edited my answer to give the information. – amball Nov 11 '15 at 19:01
  • @spacedman QuickMapServices - does the Mapquest Aerial layer allow this? – DPSSpatial Nov 11 '15 at 19:19

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